Naughty people and an axe: a bad combination
On this occasion, and as I promised in the post about Evil Christmas, I bring to you another slasher related to Christmas: Silent night, deadly night.
This film was released in 1984. Charles E. Sellier was its director. The cast included Lilyan Chauvin, Gilmer McCormick, Toni Nero, Robert Brian Wilson, Britt Leach, Nancy Borgenicht, H.E.D. Redford, Danny Wagner, Linnea Quigley, Leo Geter, and Randy Stumpf.
It has been said that it is a sequel to Evil Christmas , but I did not find any narrative relationship.
On Christmas Eve, little Billy Chapman travels with his parents and his brother Ricky, who is still a baby. Billy is worried that Santa will come home and they won’t be there, but his mother tells him that they will be on time.
For now, the family is going to a nursing home (or asylum) to visit Billy’s grandfather, who is apparently catatonic. But when they leave Billy alone with his grandfather, the old man suddenly becomes “lucid” and scares Billy, by telling him that Santa Claus punishes bad people (actually the word they use a lot in this movie is naughty).
Meanwhile, a thief, who’s dressed as Santa Claus, tries to rob a store. The robbery does not go well, so he decides to try on the road. This is where his path and that of the family cross. Billy’s parents see him next to his parked car and think he needs help. They wake Billy up, thinking they’re going to give him a nice surprise, by introducing him to Santa Claus.
But Billy is scared by what his grandfather said, and when the thief shows his true intentions, everything gets worse. That night, Billy’s father is killed by the thief. The same fate befalls the mother, only the man rapes her first. Billy, who has hidden, witnesses the entire scene.
Time moves on and we meet the Saint Mary orphanage, a place where nuns, and especially the Mother Superior, educate children with an iron hand. The Mother Superior doesn’t seem to care that Billy shows clear signs of trauma: Every year around Christmas, the Mother Superior insists that Billy must participate in the activities, which only triggers the boy’s trauma again. Billy tries to defend himself as best he can in the face of the danger he perceives and the Mother Superior, far from understanding him, punishes him… physically.
In one scene, Billy discovers one of the nuns having sex, which reminds him of his mother’s rape. The Mother Superior also discovers them and punishes them. She then tells Billy that punishment is good and naughty people should be punished.
Time passes again and Billy turns 18. The nuns find him a job in a toy store, but Christmas is coming and everything related to Santa Claus upsets the boy. To make matters worse, the owner of the store disguises him as Santa Claus so that he replaces the employee who was playing Santa Claus with the children.
Billy likes a coworker, but she flirts with another man. During the new year party at the store, the otaher man takes her to a more… private place. Billy follows them. There he witnesses how the man tries to rape the girl. This reminds him of both his mother’s rape and that nun’s indiscretion, and I suppose jealousy must have had something to do with it as well. The fact is that this is the straw that overflows the camel’s back: Billy goes completely crazy.
This is how Billy decides to punish the “naughty people”, he takes an axe and starts killing all the people he considers “naughty”. That night, Billy kills several people. The next morning, he heads to the orphanage to kill Mother Superior.
By this time, the police already suspect what the boy’s next target is. A policeman goes to the orphanage and mistakenly kills the janitor, who had come to visit the children dressed as Santa Claus.
Meanwhile, Billy is about to arrive at the orphanage. Will he achieve his goal? You’ll have to watch it to find out.
Here the trailer:
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